Proverbs – Chapter 26 –
Proverbs 26:1, 3-12 – Fools and their Foolishness
This group of proverbs describes the behavior and characteristics of a fool. The word “fool” is often used in the Book of Proverbs meaning the opposite of wise. It could also be translated as “dull”, “stupid” and “arrogant”.
The following interpretations make these proverbs easier to understand.
- Pro 26:1 – “As snow in the summer and as rain in the harvest, so honor is not fit for a fool.”
- Pro 26:3 – “Fools are lead only by punishment.” See also Pro 10:13, 17:10, 19:25, 27:22,
- Pro 26:4 – “Answering to a fool’s foolishness makes you a fool too.”
- Pro 26:5 – “Answering to a fool’s foolishness will make him feel that he is wise.”
- Pro 26:6 – “Sending a message by a fool is like cutting your foot or drinking poison.”
- Pro 26:7 – “Like the legs of a lame are wise words in a fool’s mouth.” This could be also translated as, “The clothes being lifted expose the lame leg, so a fool exposes his folly by expounding a parable.” See also Pro 17:7.
- Pro 26:8 – “Giving honor to a fool is like binding a stone to a sling.”
- Pro 26:9 – “As a thorn in a drunk’s hand is a proverb on a fool’s mouth.”
- Pro 26:10 – “He who hires a fool or a passer-by is like he who shots arrows randomly.”
- Pro 26:11 – “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” See 2 Pet 2:22.
- Pro 26:12 – “There is more hope for a fool than for a man wise in his own eyes.” See also 1 Cor 3:18-19
These are powerful warnings to protect the wise from the destruction produced by fools. Jesus used a graphic description to explain this concept, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs or cast your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you in pieces. (Mat 7:6)
I thank you Father, for warning us to discern fools and for showing us how to protect ourselves from their folly. The Holy Spirit gives us the discernment we need. Your Word shows us how to relate to them. Give us the wisdom we need.
Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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